Winter Warm-Ups: 3 Simple Stretches to Improve Your Circulation

Did you know that you can improve your mobility by stretching for just ten minutes a day, two days a week? Stretching is a great way to fuel your muscles with the oxygen and blood supply they need to perform at their best, which is vital to everyone, especially seniors. 

These benefits are why many communities for independent living in Bradenton, FL, encourage stretching and various other activities for seniors.

The Benefits of Simple Stretches 

Simple stretching also provides many other benefits for the body, including things like:

  • Improved muscle control
  • Increased blood flow circulation
  • Improved flexibility
  • Improved range of motion
  • Release from muscle tension and soreness
  • Less risk of injury

In fact, a published study examined the results of a stretch and flex program for older adults over 12 months. The participants showed positive changes in areas like overall well-being, perceived functioning, self-efficacy, and physical fitness.

Tips for Stretching to Improve Circulation

Whether you live in one of the communities for independent living in Bradenton, FL, you work at one, or you have family or friends who live in one, it’s important to follow some tips for stretching to get the most benefit from it, safely.

  • Take a deep breath and slowly exhale through your stretches; don’t hold your breath!
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds
  • Don’t bounce during stretches, or you increase the risk of injury
  • Never stretch to the point of pain

Always warm-up before stretching. You can do this by simply moving around for five or ten minutes before you begin. Before performing these stretches talk to your doctor.

3 Stretches to Improve Your Circulation

Many stretches are excellent for improving circulation and provide several other benefits. Three of these are the neck stretch, the ankle stretch, and the lower backstretch.

1. Neck Stretch

To maintain mobility of the neck, stretch by slowly bringing your chin toward your chest and turning your head from one side to the other. 

Hold the position for 15-30 seconds as tolerated at each side. Only turn the head as far as it is comfortable. 

2. Ankle Stretch

One of the biggest causes of poor balance is stiffness of the ankles. Maintaining ankle flexibility is the key for activities like walking and getting up and down out of sitting positions.

Sit in a chair and slowly move your foot up and down, pointing your toes to the ceiling and straight out. Then, move the toes from left to right. 

Hold each position for 30 seconds, then switch to the other foot and repeat.

3. Lower Back Stretch

It’s vital to maintain mobility of the spine to carry out many body functions. Lie on your back with your feet together and knees bent. Keep your feet flat on the floor.

Lower the legs to one side as your torso twists until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. 

Staying Active with Independent Living in Bradenton, FL

Whether you’re in a facility for assisted living or in your own home, stretching can help you maintain your health and mobility, improve your circulation, and enjoy a mental boost. Here’s to your health!

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